After John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran received racist fan harassment following their respective roles in the recent Skywalker trilogy, the production company behind the franchise is bracing for backlash over POC stars.
Moses Ingram, who plays a villainous Inquisitor in upcoming Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi” hunting the Jedi trainer (Ewan McGregor), revealed that Lucasfilm was proactive in media training ahead of the series premiering May 27.
“It was something that Lucasfilm actually got in front of, and said, ‘This is a thing that, unfortunately, likely will happen. But we are here to help you; you can let us know when it happens,'” Ingram told The Independent.
Ingram noted that “Obi-Wan Kenobi” director Deborah Chow has been “putting the proper systems in place so I feel safe as we do the work” throughout production. “Of course, there are always pockets of hate,” Ingram said. “But I have no problem with the block button.”
The “Queen’s Gambit” alum stars opposite McGregor and Hayden Christensen, as well as Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” is set 10 years after the events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” after Jedi were murdered under the Order 66 as Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) turned to the dark side as Sith Lord Darth Vader. Obi-Wan has been living in Tatooine, observing a young Luke Skywalker as the fate of the empire rests on him and the Inquisitor (Ingram) tracks him down.
“‘Obi-Wan’ is going to bring the most diversity I think we’ve ever seen in the galaxy before,” Ingram added. “To me, it’s long overdue. If you’ve got talking droids and aliens, but no people of color, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s 2022, you know. So we’re just at the beginning of that change. But I think to start that change is better than never having started it.”
Boyega previously revealed that he had a “very honest, a very transparent conversation” with Disney executives after speaking out over the franchise sidelining Black characters. “I hope that the conversation is not such a taboo or elephant in the room now, because someone just came and said it,” Boyega followed up.
“Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of color already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories,” Tran wrote. “Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life: that I was ‘other,’ that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough, simply because I wasn’t like them.”